The Assassination of a Romantic Notion: You Are Not a Writer

“Early on, I’d read those craft books that everyone insists you simply HAVE to read. You know the ones I’m talking about; the books that encourage you to “embrace your inner writer!” by wearing berets and writing in faux French cafes, and that talk about The Writing Life — all the joys, and sometimes the perils, of it. But what these books generally fail to address is the actual subject of craft. Lots of talk about writing, and writing practices, but no mechanics. This article has taken a similar approach. For this, and more — I’m truly sorry.”

Read the entire article:

http://www.hippocampusmagazine.com/2015/09/the-writing-life-the-assassination-of-a-romantic-notion-you-are-not-a-writer-by-p-casey-telesk/

Loren Kleinman’s The Dark Cave Between My Ribs

lorenKleinmanLoren Kleinman’s The Dark Cave Between My Ribs is what remains when darkness violently transmutes into absolute beauty.

The writer cracks her rib cage open and exposes herself in such a way that we might find ourselves wondering why these pages aren’t stained with blood.

Kleinman’s book tells a story that doesn’t ask to be forgiven. It is ruthless and raw, and doesn’t simply explore the human condition; it lays it open like a patient on a table. She acts as a surgeon, cutting away the various cancers of life that consume us, to expose the beauty buried deep inside a victim of rape, a child of an alcoholic, and lover left alone. This book reminds us that we are human, that we bleed and that it’s okay to bleed.

If all art should speak then Kleinman’s book is a guttural scream into the darkness which allows us to see that small ray of light.

A stunning book of poetry.

Taxi Driver

I couldn’t sleep last night and ended up watching Taxi Driver. The way that film walks the fine line between hero and villain is superb. Travis’s descent into insanity is juxtaposed with a world gone mad, and that’s what makes the whole thing so brilliant. It’s the fact that Travis is a morally sound character, but yet he’s complex, visiting porno theaters at 3 am and doing so, not for sexual gratification, but simply because he thinks it’s something people just do. He doesn’t understand that it’s ‘dirty’. Throughout the movie he remains as a symbol of innocence like this, only he has a bad idea growing in his head.

Overwhelmed by a depraved society, he chooses not to assassinate the senator to prove something to Betsy, and instead shoots up a pimp and his crew for whoring out a twelve year old girl. He makes a moral decision.

Is the world any crazier than Travis Bickle? Is he a villain? No. At least I don’t think so. In fact, I think the film carries a very Christian message in terms of its apocalyptic nature, and, if examined closely, we can see Travis as a Jesus-like character.

” Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets,”

robert deniro taxi driverTaxi Driver is one of the best films ever made.

Just a little somethin’ for the people who like weird books.

I ordered a copy of Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square because I couldn’t find mine. It was his first novel, basically about an alcoholic named George who suffers from a split personality. There’s a failed actress, Netta, who he is in love with, but when his personality switches he becomes overwhelmed with the urge to murder her. Set in 1939, days before England declares war on Germany, I think its a fascinating commentary on the psychological state of people existing in between peace and wartime.

What I find most interesting, though,is how the possibility of war looms throughout the whole novel, coming across the radio in every bar, as George’s psyche is breaking down, right along side the state of the nations.

What happens once war is declared? Read the book to find out. Get it here

HangoverSquarepatrckhamilton